Friends of Lincoln needs a fresh supply of volunteers every year. Helping out with fundraising, organizing our database and finances, managing teacher appreciation events, and more are all great ways to connect with students and teachers and get a handle on Lincoln life. Everyone can do something, and everyone is welcome.
We talked to two long-time super-volunteers about what they did and their insights into their time volunteering at Lincoln.
In May 2020, Kasey received the Hal Hart Award for volunteering. Jake, her youngest son, pictured above, just graduated. She was on the Friends of Lincoln board for three years as secretary then in-school support director, running things such as Teacher Appreciation Week, end-of-year lunches, controlling the budget for gift cards for counselors for food-insecure students, low-price SAT testing at the school, PTA closet which offers new clothing for kids in need, amongst many other tasks.
“As a high school parent, you don’t get as much access to the kids or the teachers,” Crever says of being a volunteer. Kasey, who has a full-time job as an exec at AT&T believes, “It’s hard to make relationships when your kids are at high school. Getting involved at the beginning gives you more opportunities to make contacts and understand what’s going on."
”If you aren’t able to volunteer during the school day, there are many other opportunities to support school activities such as sports or campus clean up. If you can’t commit much time, just look for ad hoc opportunities, like proctoring International Baccalaureate tests. If your child is in a team or club, volunteer to help the team parent. Be part of the team spirit. You can volunteer in small ways to show you care, and more importantly, show your kids you care.”
Lastly, it helps get your kids involved with you. “Both my kids helped me. It was important for them to see me involved and although it was sometimes painful to get them involved, it was worth it.”
Dara came through the school foundations at Ainsworth then Lincoln. She worked on the formation of Friends of Lincoln in 2015 to streamline fundraising and make it more equitable. She threw a lot of energy into the 150th Anniversary party at the Viking Pavilion and conducted Outreach with Principal Peyton Chapman. She also volunteered in the counseling center. Her son and daughter (pictured above), have both graduated from Lincoln.
“It’s daunting when you have your first kid in high school. Volunteering provided visibility: I saw the college process, the graduation process...it was a window into the inner workings of what goes on at school.”
Wilk points out that volunteering in elementary school is easy – you help in your child’s class. In high school, that’s a no-go, so she suggests signing up at registration with Friends of Lincoln in August.
It could be very different in the Fall of 2020. For one, there is no sports field, where many parents help with concessions. And if COVID-19 is still going strong, there could be very little IRL event planning.
However, there will still need to be coordination providing wraparound support for kids who need it. You could be taking temperatures at the door!
Wilk says people shouldn’t feel that if they work outside the home, they can’t volunteer. “Everyone can do something.”